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Wrestling: NCAA Approves 3-Point Takedown

Photo by Penn State Wrestling: Levi Haines

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the motion to make all wrestling takedowns worth three points, among a number of other rule changes, during a meeting Thursday, according to an NCAA release.

Members of the NCAA Wrestling Rules Committee— which proposed the change— agreed that increasing the scoring for takedowns by an additional point will enhance the sport by rewarding wrestlers for offensive actions and additional risk-taking.

The committee also agreed there was a need to create a more appropriate point differential between takedowns and escapes and give offense an incentive when competitors are in the neutral position.

To help balance the new takedown scoring rule, there also are new requirements for the top wrestler to work toward a near fall or pin. A 3-point near-fall scoring component was added. Previously, officials could award two or four points for near falls. The rationale for the rule change includes giving wrestlers a chance to be more creative in attempting to earn points.

The panel also approved the removal of the hand-touch takedown. For video review, referees will be given the authority to confirm or overturn all calls or missed calls during a challenge sequence, which is the time from the error or missed call until the match is, or should have been, stopped.

Here are some additional rule changes

  • The first medical forfeit of a tournament will count as a loss on the wrestler’s record (an exception will be made if the medical forfeit occurs immediately after an injury default in a tournament.)
  • The penalty for a delayed coaches video review challenge request will be changed to a loss of the video review (previously, it was a control-of-mat violation and one-point deduction from the team point total)
  • The current mandatory five-second count for the waist and ankle ride will be expanded to include all situations in which the top wrestler grasps the bottom wrestler’s ankle.

The latter rule change again carries benefits toward offensive attempts for a wrestler.

These rule changes shouldn’t impact Penn State wrestling and how its perceived. Cael Sanderson’s empire will still be favored to win its 11th national title in 13 seasons.

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